Question 30a on the March 13 ballot will determine if we rerun the fiasco of 5 years ago or not.
Do you support restoration of Brewster Memorial Hall to serve as Town Offices?
It’s arguable whether everyone understood the warrant article that appropriated $500,000 to fund the Town Hall Restoration Committee, but nothing could be planer than this question. Although non-binding, you can bet that the Selectmen will run with an affirmative indication from the voters.
Lets take a look at what happened the last time. The Town Hall Restoration Committee was formed and chaired by one of the five Selectmen. One other sitting Selectman was also a member. Several interested citizens stepped forward, as well as an AIA Architect and a citizen with direct experience doing restoration work in New York.
After a few months of work, both the architect and the experienced restoration person quit. Another member of the Board of Selectmen commented at a BOS meeting that the committee was doing wonderful work. I attended as a member of the town Energy Committee until one of the Selectman members told me that I wasn’t allowed to request information.
When the estimate came in at $6.8 million, all of the Selectmen voted approval of the project and they put on a full court press to sell it at the Deliberative session, including a mock-up New Hampshire Crossroads video that the Friends paid Fritz Weatherbee to produce.
With a resounding defeat of 56% opposed, the Selectmen have never admitted to mishandling the affair, and continue to insist that a handful of troublemakers are ruining it for everyone.
They say that history repeats itself. Let’s hope not.